Sporting Clube de Goa suffered their second successive defeat in Goa going down 1- 2 to Pune Football Club in an eight round ILeague football match at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Tuesday. The score was at 1- 1 at half time.
Man- of- the- match striker Subhash Singh’s brace condemned Ekendra Singh’s team to their fifth loss.
Refusing to play for a draw, Sporting Clube started in right earnest, creating forays into the rival territory and nearly forged ahead soon after the kick off but Nigerian striker Obiora Richards failed to connect a through pass by Adil Khan from the left.
Earlier, Pune who had drawn the previous match against Sikkim United Football Club were looking to surge ahead but wing half Khan Thang Paite’s snap shot was blocked by Sporting goalkeeper C Ashok Singh after he was fed by playmaker Ivory Coast’s Douhou.
The home team took the lead in the 22nd minute when Adil Khan from the left floated the ball to Obiora Richard who wasted no time in punishing the rival goalkeeper as his shot brushed the hands of Pune goalkeeper Abra Mondal and entered the net.
The early strike surprised Pune and the visiting team upped the ante and nearly found the equalizer in the 36th minute when Douhou Piere’s free kick landed at the rival goalmouth but Chika Wali was slow in meeting the ball.
In the 42nd minute, Pune equalized through striker Subhash Singh.
Following a well executed cross from the right from Shrikant Ramu, striker James Moga unleashed a shot without wasting time. Sporting Clube’s goalkeeper Ashok Singh poor collection saw the ball slipping from his hand and the lurking Subhash gently pushed it in to put his team on equal terms.
The visitors picked up from where they had left and in the second half enjoyed better ball possession with playmaker Pierre alongwith Karma Tsweng controlling the midfield with aplomb.
The defence was rock solid and never allowed their opponents a chance to get past their defence.
Pune’s match- winner came in the 66th minute when James found striker Subhash free on the right flank and the latter showed fine technique and took advantage of the fact that the rival goalkeeper was of his area and charge flicked the ball over him. Earlier, Sporting Clube were unlucky when Freiman Peixoto’s 30- yards shot grazed the bar and went out.
At the other end, the visitors were in full control and created a couple of scoring opportunities. First, Gurjinder Singh’s snap shot kissed the crossbar and latter substitute Azumi Arata’s rasping shot was parried away by the rival goalkeeper.
With time running out, Sporting nearly found the equalizer but Keita Boubackar shot missed the mark narrowly.
Sporting’s coach Ekendra was involved in needless heated arguments with referee Raktim Saha from Tripura during the break and after the match.
With this win, Pune collected 13 points from seven matches while Sporting stay with seven points from eight matches.
Sporting coach Ekendra displayed total dissatisfaction with the referee’s decisions.
“ The referee denied us a sure penalty besides playing spoilsport on several occasions.
We will register a strong complain against the referee with the match commissioner.
This is the second time we have been the victims of biased refereeing,” he said.
Pune coach Derrick Pereira was pleased with his team’s performance. “ Today, we were the side,” he said.
sporting Clube will be lodging yet another complaint with AIFF against Tuesday’s match referee whom they alleged to have robbed them of three points.
They pointed out that a clear goal was disallowed in the second half when Freiman’s thundering shot hit the underside of the crossbar, lobbed inside the goal and came out with the assistant referee not in a position to make a proper judgement since he was about 20 yards away from the corner flag. They will ask that the video footage be analysed and action taken against the match officials. [H]